Strange Famous Records

Let me start from the beginning…

…at the top of the list – nawmean, have situation like this…

Whatever the time of day, it’s never a bad time to throw some Mobb Deep in the mix. That much I’ve learned.

Tuesday 18th August, 2009.

With the release of my Strange Famous-branded debut album ‘Late Model Sedan’, I wanted to write down some thoughts and historicals for you, on myself and some of the projects I’ve been involved in over the years. Who I am. All that mess. I know there are a lot of people who will know most of this already, close friends and acquaintances and listeners of all description, but it’s also plainly obvious to me that I’m not hugely well known and I’ve never assumed myself to be. I must stress that! I’m easily flattered for the most part but mostly I’m just extremely grateful for any kind or positive words that I’ve received over the years. I’ve been involved in music for a lot of years now and hopefully this will continue into the distant future (As long as I can do it I will), so I thought it’d be a good time to fill you in what’s been happening round these parts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 18

PFA Austin tour date MOVED to Aug 19th!

PFA Austin tour date MOVED to Aug 19th!

The folks putting on our Austin show have a large event going on the day before and have asked us to join the two. We will now be kicking the PFA set at the official Grand Opening of the Austin Poetry Slam at its new home: The Independent@501 Studios (same place we were already booked just a day earlier). There will local bands, emcees, and multi-voice performance pieces from four Texas national poetry slam teams. The Independent is a kick ass Rock venue and the organizers of the event are expecting a packed house; they’ll also be filming our entire set in HD for live webcast! We apologize for the last minute switch but this really feels like the right move in terms of having the best show possible and we’re excited by the opportunity. Hope to see you there!

Prayers For Atheists in Austin!!
Wednesday, August 19th
The Independent@501 Studios
8pm/$5 – E. 5th & Brushy

Aug 16

Tour starts off with a bang – SLC, Boise, Seattle up next!!

The record release show in Providence was off the chain! Approximately 200 people showed up, all the bands on the bill kicked ass, and the crowd grew in intensity as the night went on. By the time we hit the stage they were all riled up and ready for the Victory Riot thrashing and singing that followed. Folks danced and screamed along the words and Alan and I actually had to step back from the front of the stage as people from the pit spilled over the monitors and passed the mic stands! We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night. Thank you to everyone who came, and everyone who helped make it such an amazing show.

Since then we’ve played Manhattan, the New London Punk Festival, Oswego-NY, Lansing-MI, Chicago, and back to back shows in Minneapolis! Sage paid us a surprise visit in Chicago at the Weiser House, he grabbed the mic during Patriarchy Presents and Hard Core wind mills/floor punching ensued. In Minneap we got to play at the legendary 7th Street Entry and webcasted live from the St. Paul Opera Collective. It’s a great feeling to finally take these songs on the road and sharpen the set; the overall sound feels tighter and more powerful with each passing show.

Salt Lake City, Boise, Seattle, and Portland are up next! Then down the west coast to Eureka, Sacramento, San Fran, and L.A. Thanks for stickin’ with us, and if you’re anywhere near a city we’re hitting up – for the love of Pete, come on out and dance with us!!

(Here are a few pics from the Providence show! It’s been hard to compile stuff from the road, so unfortunately, these are just of me but we’ve got full band pics from all the shows on the way!)






Aug 01

Prayers for Atheists article in the Providence Phoenix!

Psalms For The Deaf
Jared Paul Unleashes Prayers For Atheists
By CHRIS CONTI | July 21, 2009

Jared Paul & Alan Hague are PRAYERS FOR ATHEISTS

Jared Paul & Alan Hague are PRAYERS FOR ATHEISTS

Sage Francis addressed the densely-populated crowd at Rock the Bells at Comcast Center last weekend: “This song helped get a friend of mine out of jail. Thank you to all who donated. This song is called ‘Conspiracy to Riot.’ Strange Famous fucking Records, Providence.”

The crowd erupted when the beat dropped, as Sage and fellow Providence emcee B.Dolan saluted their friend and labelmate Jared Paul, a vicious spoken-word specialist who was arrested in St. Paul, Minneapolis, last summer for protesting outside the Republican National Convention. Paul was initially charged with felony riot, which got knocked down to a misdemeanor, but Paul refused to plead guilty and, a Web page to raise funds to fight the charge, was born.

“I’m thankful to Sage and Slug [from the hip-hop group Atmosphere] for posting my bond and getting it all rolling,” he said. “Folks heeded the call from all across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. It was fantastic.”

The story is now captured on wax as Jared Paul and Alan Hague have teamed up to form Prayers For Atheists, and just released a politically-charged self-titled EP ($10 at they call their “25-minute victory chant.” The leadoff single “Psalm for St. Paul” deftly documents Paul’s experience, powered by Hague’s chugging guitar riff. Sage Francis sent an email the day before his set at Rock the Bells:

“If you read Jared’s account of what took place at the RNC with all the arrests and his time in jail, then you know he was put through hell. The amount of coverage it received was incredible, and the donations were helpful. When Jared told me he was doing a song called ‘Psalm for St. Paul,’ I was expecting a shitstorm of vitriol. Instead, Alan and Jared deliver a dancey and positive anthem. That song made me realize that this material was going to be well-beyond what anyone was expecting.”

There’s plenty of raging against the machine on Prayers for Atheists, but Paul and Hague subtly fill your gullet with knowledge while crafting straight-up indie rock as opposed to maniacal rap-rock stuff. Paul tips his hat to Chuck D. on the outstanding “Coathangar 18” and keeps his cool on the slow-burner “Lot’s Wife,” but makes his opinion abundantly clear on the 80-second thrasher “Tom Delay.” PFA added a drummer and bassist for their nationwide tour, which starts today (the 23rd) in New York and ends on August 26 at Firehouse 13. Paul recently returned from an inspiring performance art tour with B. Dolan.

“I’ve never seen people as hopeful and motivated as they are right now,” Paul said. “President Obama has an unprecedented popularity with the American people, but we really need to keep the fire to his feet and hold him accountable just as we would any other politician.”

A mention of our governor gets Paul going.

“Don Carcieri is probably the most destructive and anti-worker governor in Rhode Island history,” he said. “I worked as a direct care counselor in group homes for many years — I was there when he managed to pull off the $10 million budget cut to the RI DCYF. That move put over 100 18- and 19-year-old group home graduates out on the street with nowhere to go. He is a despicable person.

“We’re due for a big shakeup. I gotta believe it’s coming soon.”

I asked what he would say to those who may believe protesting, particularly here in our corrupt little vacuum, is an effort in futility. “First of all, protesting is a good time. Everybody’s pissed about the way things are going down with the war and a million other things, so why not come out and give the Man a little hell for a couple hours and then go out for coffee after?”

Jul 21

Spiders and moths and death, oh my!

Greetings Strange Fam,

I haven’t bloggity-blogged it up in a while because I’ve been up to my bloodshot eyeballs in work.  However, so much is happening in my life and in the world that I need to address it  in one big swoop.

1) RIP to Michael Jackson.

MJ was the biggest star any of us will probably ever know. The reason we’ll hear about him until the day we die is because his impact spanned so many generations. Thriller is the first tape my mom ever bought me. I played that tape front to back more times than I care to admit. I was at my house rehearsing with B. Dolan when the news broke. We were both in shock as we sat in front of the television in a total state of “What…the…fuck.”  I could go on and on about MJ, but I’d rather not get lost in a tangent. There is a song about him that’s been sitting in my notebook for years. Since I never could figure out how to finish the song, I’ll just share the one line that keeps repeating in my head (in reference to his plastic surgery):

“It had less to do with race, and more to do with removing traces of his father from his face.”

I guess that sums up the whole purpose of the song. No need to record it now.

The day after MJ’s death, B. Dolan and I were greeted with Tech N9ne’s tour bus at Chicago’s “Rock the Bells” concert.

promo gone wrong

promo gone wrong

It should be known that this album title and image was created 6 months before MJ’s death. I don’t want people thinking it was a spur of the moment decision to capitalize on a tragedy. Tech N9ne is the homie.

2) RIP to Walter Cronkite.  He raised a bar that journalists should aspire to match rather than just play limbo with. Lets see one of these robotic talking heads we now see on TV every day earn the title of “The Most Trusted Man in America.”

3) RIP to Anne R. D’Antuono.

Not many people know of her as her story isn’t on every news channel (or any news channel for that matter.) She was my 5th grade teacher and she died at the age of 83. Her obituary mentioned the basics of her life;  birth date, death date, relatives, and nothing else. That’s not a proper send off.

Mrs. D’Antuono seemed to come straight out of a black and white movie. She was tall and lanky, often sporting a trench coat and bucket hat. If you were chewing gum in her class she would stick it on your nose. If you weren’t paying attention she would put her nails to the chalk board. To put it plainly, she was a no-nonsense mofo. Mrs. D’Antuono was a stickler for the English language, cramming sentence diagrams down our throats almost every day. In fact, I found myself in accelerated English classes for the rest of my scholastic career because of it. Most of the kids in class, including myself, were scared of her.  There were also sweet and endearing moments throughout the year, all of which stick out in my mind much more than the ruler being slapped against the desk.

Our 5th grade class was the last she would ever teach. When she announced her retirement I wondered if it was because we pushed her over the edge somehow. It’s unlikely, but I do think that we were ushering in a new generation of kids who lacked the discipline and attention span that her particular teaching style required. She wasn’t there to baby sit. She was there to teach. Her retirement must have weighed heavy on my conscience, because on the last day of school I wrote her a poem and slipped it onto her desk without anyone noticing. Just a little show of appreciation for her hard work. She photocopied it, laminated it, and sent it to my mother…so…ya know…I’m pretty awesome. And I’m probably going to heaven.

The only reason I learned of her passing this past weekend is because my Grandmother was her bridge partner. I attended the wake and had the opportunity to tell her family about the lasting impression their mother had on me. I’d post a photo, but none exist online. This is just a heart-felt shout to an unsung hero. You were a bad ass, Mrs. D! May your red pen strike me down whenever I end a sentence with a preposition.

4) SFR’s CD manufacturer is based in Texas. Boxes are delivered to my driveway in Rhode Island. The last large shipment of boxes was Sleep’s “Hesitation Wounds” album. As I was carrying one of the boxes to my van a spider fell out of it. It was large, hairy, and it tumbled down my body onto the ground. I tossed the box I was holding and hyperventilated for a minute while I stared at this nightmare of a bug.

This picture is the best I could take with my phone, but it doesn’t do the traumatic experience any justice.  Listen…I live in RI. I’ve never seen a fucking bug like this ever. It wasn’t as big as the tarantulas that I see in horror movies, but it was hairy and huge. As you can see, it was on its way to eat my cat when I mustered up the courage to take this photo.  I then scooped up my cat and ran into the house. I apologize for introducing this creature into RI’s ecosystem. Good luck with that.

5) In other Stephen King-esque news, I was sitting in my living room tonight when I heard something knocking against my door. I opened up the door and was greeted by a moth that was the size of a baby bird. What the fuck is going on here? It’s the biggest god damn moth I’ve ever seen in my life.

big ass moth

big ass moth

Again, my camera phone is not doing this thing justice.  The picture below includes my finger in order to give perspective.

What is that, a little baby finger next to a regular sized moth? Nope, it’s actually my fat sausage finger next to a monster sized moth.

I picked it up by its wings and tossed it away from my door but it keeps coming back. If I need to save this Jurassic beast in a jar for scientific study I hope someone tells me soon.

6) I’m not a particularly spiritual person, but sometimes I get caught up in superstition. It’s shameful, really. But as I encounter these creatures that belong in the Guinness Book of World Records, I start to wonder if they’re omens.  I haven’t even mentioned the big toads hopping around my lawn, but they’re there.  So I start obsessing over these encounters with strange nature beasts and then I connect them to things that are happening in my life.

The other week I woke up and my eye inexplicably looked like this.

Did someone fart on my pillow? Did that big spider lay eggs in my eyelid? No…it’s a stye. It went away after two days with no treatment. As soon as it went away I had gland pains in my neck. It  hurt to speak and it hurt to turn my head. Once that went away I had so much pain in my right arm, wrist and fingers that I couldn’t sleep. So, OK, my body is going crazy. I’m recording my new album and there’s a spiritual war going on in my arteries. That’s what the doctor told me anyway…after taking my blood and shipping it off to the government for testing.

I’ve been sworn to secrecy, so if you’re looking for an explanation then you’ll need to wait for my autopsy.

“That’s the way it is.”


Jul 17

My Tour Dates/Watch Yourself Asher

This is the basic run down of my pre release promo tour. I got the idea of fan poaching with promo stickers/ a cd with one track not on my album rapping outside venues of other artists and it grew on me. I love the idea of it. I talked to Scroobius after hearing he had used similar tactics and he said it worked out really well for him so all that dates that say fan poaching street show are just going to be me doing my set in front of venues with a boom box handing out my promo stickers and info. Also, I will be playing a few actuall shows. Maybe a few more at places I haven’t heard back from yet. I’m too busy to be booking so I thought I’d make the best of it and roll this way til I get a manager or some shit. bookings not my thing.

That said, This entire promo trip is contigent on August 6th. The Jump off point. My friend has an extra ticket for the Asher Roth show in Phillie at the Electric Factory. My plan is to go in and nail him with a Curtis Plum promo cd during his set, not with a case, just a cd buy itself or maybe in a paper sleeve to just graze him on the head and throw him off while he’s rapping, I don’t think I’ll even have to connect to make him fuck up. I have been practicing my cd throwing technique for weeks and I’m super accurate at 15 to 20 feet. Its sort of a metaphor inacted in real life for what all dope hip hop will always do to mainstream watered down bullshit. So if they arrest me on an assualt charge the rest of the tour won’t happen but it will be worth it, I’ve done plenty of time so I’m not stressin, its a win win situation. This is a personal vendetta. I was planning on doing it anyway and I’ve been networking with people I know to do the same thing if there is an Asher Roth show in their area or if they see him at a club or whatever. I just thought it would be a good way to start off my tour. Its kind of a movement I’m trying to get going called the Everyone Nail Asher Roth With An Indie Hip Hop CD Movement. Its something I really believe in and hope others will too. This tour isn’t about me, its about making the world better for everyone by throwing cds at Asher Roth in public when he is trying to look cool.

Initially my trip back east was to visit some old friends and hit Asher Roth with a cd on stage but then I figured I might as well book a few shows and do some promo stuff while seeing the sights and taking it all in. Oh, just joking about the Asher Roth thing, I’m sure hes a really cool guy. I would never do that…….or would I?

Dates(Follow my ass on twitter and myspace as I will most likely add more dates).

august 6th phildelphia pa at the electric factory nailing asher rothe cd throwing show. whenever I get close enough to Asher

aug 8th pittsburg pennsylvania at garfields artworks with jackson from grand buffet actual show on stage. time ?

august 11 chantilly virginia Sullys johnny 3 legs fan poaching show 9pm

august 15th new haven ct toads place de la soul fan poaching street show 8pm

august 18th portland maine at north star cafe open mic plus street show 9pm

august 17th the Brighton Bar long branch new jersey Open mic on stage plus street show 9pm

august 21st Iron Horse street show with the problem addicts and alchemist fan poaching street show 9pm

sept 29th baltimore maryland at zodiac with Hieght actual show on stage. time ?

Sept 6th providence rhode island at stage Strange Famous Block party actual show on stage

You love college. Lets see how much you love my promo CD wizzing at your dome with lighting speed while your on Stage fool.

Jul 17

How to Handle Drunk Hecklers When You’re Fat and Wearing An Evel Knievel Suit Onstage: A Pictorial

I know a lot of people have been having problems with this, so I thought I’d present this pictorial to help demonstrate a method I’ve found useful.

Step 1. Ask for a Volunteer from the Drunk Heckler Section.

Step 2. Drunk Heckler now thinks he is at a magic show.  He is also now conscious that he is on a stage.  This means he will do whatever you ask him to, if you talk like you have a clear purpose for him.  No one wants to be onstage with no purpose.  Start by having him lay on his stupid heckler face.  Don’t say that though.  Just say “Ok, I need you to lie on your face…”

Step 3. Now that he’s laying on his face instead of yelling like a fucking donkey in the front row, make use of the once-again-undivided attention of the crowd.  Maybe use the spotlight to point out how dumb this guy looks, laying on his face.  What’s he gonna do?  He’s laying on his face.

Step 4. Tell the crowd you’re going to jump over the Drunk Heckler. You are wearing an Evel Knievel suit, after all. You might as well jump (jump). Have him lay on his back, so that in case “you don’t make it” you can step on a Drunk Heckler’s nuts.

At this point, no one will have noticed that your fat body is making your Evel Knievel belt unsnap. They will be too busy hoping to see you step on the asshole guy’s nuts.

Step 5. Prepare to do irreparable damage to another man’s reproductive organs.

Step 6. Jump. Bring 270 pounds of falling boot heel down on somebody’s testicles, while the horrified audience looks on. You’ll never play this city again. He’ll never be the same man again. But you fucking do it. You do it for Michael Jackson. You show that man’s nuts the same amount of mercy they showed Michael. Which is zero.

Step 7. Just drop a beat. Ask the crowd politely to throw their hands in the air. They’ll forget all about the screaming man on the floor. The good thing about having music to perform with is that you can’t hear the hecklers.

Hope this has been helpful.


Jul 09


…The worry has been hanging around me all morning, which in my world is quite a big bother considering It’s always talking out of turn, invading my personal space and stuffing enormous slices of humble pie down my throat with out relent. I’m not sure why I invited the worry over in the first place, it’s seldom it ever needs to be around to put me in a nervous panic.

It was twelve a.m. when the worry rolled in to say “hello! OMG! Is everything O.K.?” “Did you forget anything important?” and three pm when I finally pulled the whole “hey worry, does this rag smell like chloroform to you?” the worry went out like a light and I went about daily routine.

Now I’m at a rival coffee shop drinking some cold press with my headphones on listening to the beats for my new album “porcelain revolver” when something hits me like a Chevy half ton…I got the day off, a couple of bucks and a will to write for hours on end…I aint talking blog’s, I’m talking some good old fashioned and new fangled folk-hop/flamenco funk rock-talking to the winds of change type bangers!
But before I jump into writing songs I’d like to share one story from yesterday that has been on my mind.

I was planning on taking a few friends to my parents cabin on the lake where my great grandfather had built a cabin/shack somewheres around 1920 I’m guessing. My mother and father bought it from my grandfather a few years back and invested a good chunk of cash into it’s remodeling, Which is why (when I asked if I could bring some friends there for the night) they were a little concerned about what I might do to the place when I’m up there, which is understandable considering my track record that needs no mention as of yet. They eventually give me the thumbs down on the cabin.
My friends and I were a little bummed, but were completely understanding of the out come. We decide to drive out to st. Paul mn and grab a slice of pizza from cossetta instead. Cossetta is an Italian joint that has been around since st Paul was built…or that’s what it feels like when your inside listening to nothing but 30’s 40’s and 50’s music and eating a slice of pizza that tastes timeless.
Were all in good spirits cracking jokes and talking like mob bosses when we near the end of our meal. I remembered someone earlier in the week telling me to check out the antique shop across the street from cossetta. She promised me I wouldn’t be disappointed. I ask the group if they were down and everyone agrees to go and browse through old junk and memorabilia with me.
While walking over there I over hear a drunk guy spilling his complaints out to friend out side the bar on the corner. It went something like this “hey man…you know…that bitch of a wife couldn’t find her way out of a plastic wet bag…or wet plastic bag!”…I shit you not it was truly stupidity at it’s finest; I couldn’t make that shit up myself.

So we’re in the antique store now and thirty minutes have passed. I reconnect with my friend kadi upstairs who is holding some great looking black and white photos she had scrounged up from a basket of junk. They’re all anywhere from 1910 to 1925 and of her whole lot she had one photo in particular that struck the both of us. It was a photo out looking a lake. There were two rowboats on each side of the picture almost symmetrical and there was a tree-covered coastline on the left. The first thing I said when I saw it was “yo, would you let me scan that picture? I wanna use that in my album art” and she agreed to spread the nostalgic wealth with me.
A couple minutes later and were are out the doors with our goods, me with two civil war first aid pins, kadi with her pictures, food head with his American pride and Jason with his bear skin rug circa 1945, which looked hilarious considering he has an enormous twisted mustache and full bear in his arms walking around downtown st. Paul while grinning ear to ear. I love my friends.

We roll back into Minneapolis still laughing about this obnoxious bearskin rug the Jason bought for a price that I wouldn’t pay for all the records in the world and decide to get caffeinated and further our day of whimsy.
We get back to the coffee shop and begin slipping back into our routine of finding funny pictures on and feeding each other encouragement when kadi said (while looking at the photo I mentioned earlier) “this photo says, lake Mary Alexandria mn. 1915” I immediately freak out and grab the picture and said “That’s the lake I was going to take everyone to…my grandfathers lake and the fishing spot where my grand father used to take me to”. The picture in the photo was taken off the same dock I cast my first line off. It was serendipitous to say the least. I still got some goose bumps and a few extra springs in my steps. The lake would have been nice to visit, but this trumped it over and over. I’m glad those kind of things happen and glad those kinds of things don’t happen all the time; I wouldn’t wanna waste that kind of overwhelming feeling. It may seem small to you, but it packs pretty heavy punch to me. My yesterdays.
-Cecil “drifting on a dollar” otter

Jun 21

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